Feel like grilling chicken, but you're craving Chinese? Try our Panda Express teriyaki chicken copycat recipe and you'll get the best of both worlds.
The meat is tender and abundant in flavor and the glaze is thick, sweet and savory. This dish is extremely easy to make so you can enjoy this at home any night of the week. Satisfy your Chinese fix and impress your family with this fragrant and flavorful dinner entree.
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All the ingredients for this healthy teriyaki entree can be easily found at your local grocery store, with the exception of the Shoaxing wine. Cooking sherry can be used instead.
- Meat: We used boneless, skinless chicken thighs, but breasts would also work.
- Aromatics: Fresh minced garlic and ginger are used in the teriyaki sauce.
- Wine: Shoaxing wine or cooking sherry is used in the marinade and in the teriyaki sauce.
- Oil: We used classic olive oil for grilling and sesame oil in the marinade and in the sauce.
- Acid: We used rice vinegar in the sauce.
- Thickener: We used cornstarch in both the marinade and the sauce.
- Soy: We used reduced sodium soy sauce for the marinade and the sauce.
- Sweetener: We used light brown sugar in the sauce.
What is in Panda Express Teriyaki Chicken?
Panda Express states on their website that this entree is, "grilled chicken thigh hand-sliced to order and served with teriyaki sauce."
Is this entree healthy?
Since the meat is marinated and grilled, it has less fat than most of the other entrees they offer. When ordering this entree from Panda Express it is served on it's own without any vegetables.
You can put extra teriyaki on the chicken, but you'll have to specifically ask for it if you're ordering take out, so if you want the extra sauce check your order before driving away from the restaurant.
How many calories are in this entree?
For a 6 ounce serving size, there are 300 calories, 13g of fat, 8g of carbs, 8g of sugar, and 36g of protein.
For a serving size of one chicken thigh with ¼ of the sauce, our copycat version has 390 calories, 22g of fat, 3.9g of carbs, 14.5g of sugar and 24.5g of protein. For more nutritional information, please scroll to the end of the recipe card.
Our recipe also uses all of the ⅔ cup of teriyaki sauce in the nutrition facts. With this amount of sauce, there will be enough teriyaki for dipping or to serve on top of your rice .
How can I serve teriyaki chicken?
Panda Express serves this entree plain, without sauce or vegetables. If you want vegetables, you'll have to order their super greens if you decide to order this from this popular fast food American Chinese restaurant.
When you make our copycat version, you can serve this with steamed rice, fried rice, or cauliflower rice. Our copycat super greens are quick and easy to make and taste amazing with this entree.
This recipe makes enough teriyaki sauce to brush some on the meat and still have some leftover to spoon on top of rice. If you want something sweet, grill up some fresh pineapple slices to go as another side or a light dessert.
How to Make
Gather all the ingredients for the marinade. Whisk the ingredients together, then mix up the cornstarch slurry and whisk it into the marinade.
Place the 4 thighs in a zip-top bag and pour the marinade over top. Massage the marinade into the meat with your hands, then close up the bag and place in the fridge for a minimum of 30 minutes.
Gather the ingredients for the homemade teriyaki sauce.
Place all the ingredients, except the cornstarch slurry, in a small saucepan. Whisk and bring the teriyaki sauce to a low boil over medium high heat.
Whisk in the thoroughly mixed cornstarch slurry and then reduce the heat to medium low and let it simmer for 5 minutes. Remove from the heat. It will thicken as it starts to cool.
Brush a cast iron grill pan with olive oil and allow it to heat up until hot, roughly 2 minutes. Pat the meat with paper towel to remove excess moisture and carefully place 2 thighs in the pan.
Cook for one minute, then reduce the heat to medium low and cook for 5 to 7 minutes, then flip and cook for 5 minutes more. It's done when it is no longer pink inside and the internal temperature is 165F when a meat thermometer is inserted in the thickest part of the thigh.
Place the meat on a plate and tent with foil. Allow to rest for ten minutes for the juices to redistribute.
Slice in ½-inch slices and brush with homemade teriyaki sauce.
Serve with steamed rice and place extra teriyaki sauce on the side to use for dipping or on the rice. Garnish with green onion and sesame seeds.
Feel free to add other Panda Express copycat sides like our Super Greens, Chow Mein or Fried Rice. If you want something sweet, grill up some sliced fresh pineapple to serve on the side.
- Need this gluten free? Use arrowroot instead of cornstarch, and liquid aminos or tamari instead of the soy sauce.
- Want this vegan? Use this sauce on top of grilled slabs of tofu, cauliflower florets, or mushrooms.
- Want the meat changed up? Use breast, but make sure to not over cook it.
- Need lower carbs? Omit the cornstarch or replace it with glucomannan powder used in Japanese cooking.
- Want veggies? Stir fry broccoli, white onion, red bell pepper, and zucchini.
- Make the sauce and marinade the meat night before to save time.
- Use fresh garlic and ginger.
- Cook the meat in batches, if using a cast iron grill pan.
- Marinade the meat for at least 30 minutes.
- Want this sweeter? Increase the brown sugar by 2 more tablespoons.
Other Panda Express Main Courses
- Kung Pao Chicken
- Firecracker Chicken
- Sweet Fire Chicken
- Mushroom Chicken
- String Bean Chicken
- Black Pepper Chicken
Other Panda Express Sides
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Panda Express Teriyaki Chicken
For the Grilled Chicken
- 1 pound boneless skinless chicken thighs
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
For the Marinade
- For the teriyaki sauce, whisk the rest of the ingredients, except the cornstarch slurry, in a small saucepan over medium high heat. When it starts to boil, reduce the heat to medium low, whisk in the thoroughly mixed cornstarch slurry, and let it simmer for 5 minutes to thicken. Remove from the heat. The sauce will continue to thicken as it cools.
- Place the meat on a plate and pat it dry with a paper towel to remove excess moisture. Add the oil to a grill pan set over medium high heat and heat up the pan until it's hot, roughly 2 minutes. Carefully place two chicken thighs in the grill pan and let them cook on medium high for 1 minute, then reduce the heat to medium low and cook for 5 to 7 minutes. Flip over with tongs and cook the other side for 5 to 7 minutes. Chicken is cooked when it has an internal temperature of 165 F on a meat thermometer and is no longer pink inside. Repeat with the other 2 thighs.
- Place the grilled meat on a plate and tent with foil. Let it rest for 10 minutes.
- With a serrated knife, slice the meat across the grain in half-inch strips.
- Reheat the sauce over medium low heat, then brush the sauce on top of the chicken. Extra sauce can be used for a dipping sauce or for mixing with rice. Serve the teriyaki chicken with steamed rice and garnish with sliced green onions and sesame seeds.
- Save time by making the sauce and marinating the chicken night before.
- Try to use fresh garlic and ginger in the sauce for the best flavor.
- If you're using a cast iron grill pan, cook the chicken in batches.
- Plan to marinate the chicken for at least 30 minutes.
- If you like a sweet teriyaki sauce, increase the brown sugar by 2 tablespoons.